A while ago Mike introduced me to the awesome Lisa Bourque, founder of Wild Heart Coaching. We were both inspired by her story, and I think you will too! After reading this interview check out her website, Wild Heart Coaching . Here’s a HeSo project at it’s finest:
What were you doing before you started life coaching?
I worked as an attorney at a large law firm in New York City practicing products liability litigation with several pro bono immigration/asylum cases. I have also worked as a legal advocate for women, a volunteer facilitator for a civil rights program in an inner city high school, a paralegal, and in fundraising for a not-for-profit organization.
You were doing what most people would consider satisfying work, what made you want to quit?
So often I hear people making choices based on what they considered to be prestigious work, interesting work, challenging work, or what they think they “should do.” Satisfaction isn’t always part of the equation! When I decided to pursue a career path as an attorney, I chose it because it would be an intellectual challenge and also, truth be told, to make “good money.” I didn’t choose that path to follow my passion, because I was innately good at it, or because I thought it would be satisfying. Somehow, none of those things were on my mind! What I didn’t realize at that time was that intellectual engagement is not the most fulfilling thing that I’m looking for in my work. Sure, I appreciate using and stretching my mind, but I’m looking for much more than that. I realized that I needed to pursue a different path and a different career when I felt:
(1) Bored and unhappy on a daily basis because my passion and natural gifts were not aligned with my work.
(2) I wanted to serve the world in a different way, one that focused on helping people to transform their lives for the better, and thus the world for the better.
(3) I wanted to have a more immediate and transformative impact with the time and energy that I put into in my work.
Why did you begin working with a coach?
I was completely unsure of what direction I needed to take to be true to myself. My coach helped me get reconnected with myself and begin to sort out what was truly important to me . . . a profound step because I had never contemplated those things before!
What did you learn during the course of your coach training?
Trusting myself is the only true option for me. I had to trust who I am, what makes me excited and interested, what I want to contribute, and what I can offer to people when I’m coming from a place of authenticity and being true to myself. I also learned coaching is one way of helping people to find answers to important questions that they have about their lives, who they want to be, and what they want to do with their one precious life. How to create the life you want isn’t something that’s typically focused on — and that’s what coaching is all about.
What made you want to be a coach?
The great thing was that there was no one thing that helped me decide to be a coach. The more I explored and experienced the coaching field, the more I realized that coaching was the right path for me because it just felt right. I feel great when I’m coaching. I know I am doing something meaningful. I connect with people in a way that speaks to what is really really important to them. I believe I am using my energy and abilities to create a better world and to help people bring fulfillment into their lives. I feel alive when I coach. I feel grateful. I feel hopeful. I feel like I am doing what I’m meant to do.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when you transitioned from attorney to life coach?
I was completely on auto-pilot for many years, performing tasks and doing things by rote because I “had to.” When I left my job and the practice of law altogether, there was no way I could be on autopilot anymore. Self-motivation took on a completely new and powerful meaning for me. I had to shift how I saw myself in the world, and how I saw what I created and offered to others. I had to establish new routines and creative practices. Now all of this seems obvious. But at the time, the task of shifting a lifelong perspective on how work looks like and years of habits that supported that perspective was harder than I thought!
How did your friends and family react to the big change?
I think they were curious about what was going on with me. I practiced law for only a few years before making my career change — most people would probably have stuck it out for longer than that. No one in my life was familiar with coaching and what it’s all about when I first started talking about it, so they didn’t really “get it” at first. But they saw the big shift in my happiness from when I was a lawyer to when I began coaching – and that the change was a very positive one. I think they understood that the big change was a great one. After all, who can argue with their friend/daughter/sister/partner being happy?
I can’t think of a single one.
Stay tuned for part 2 of this interview. Lisa will give us helpful tools on how to find and capitalize on our personal passions!
Lisa Bourque is a personal coach and the founder of Wild Heart Coaching. She specializes in helping people who feel lifeless at work to find their authentic path and align their personal and professional passions with confidence and choice. Visit her website at www.YourWildHeart.com.